Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating (or replacing) an art brush


From:

Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Creating (or replacing) an art brush

In this movie I'll show you how to convert our wiggly path outlines into art brushes, and then we'll turn around and apply those art brushes to our character outlines. And if we have any problems, which we will, then I'll show you how to resolve those problems. So I've gone ahead just for the sake of clarity here and numbered each one of these Chalk-brush alternatives. So the first one, #1, has the cleaved off edges on the left and right hand sides. #2 has the brush edges that exceed the rectangle that represents the path outline, and then #3 is just sitting there waiting for me to modify it.
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  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Creating (or replacing) an art brush

In this movie I'll show you how to convert our wiggly path outlines into art brushes, and then we'll turn around and apply those art brushes to our character outlines. And if we have any problems, which we will, then I'll show you how to resolve those problems. So I've gone ahead just for the sake of clarity here and numbered each one of these Chalk-brush alternatives. So the first one, #1, has the cleaved off edges on the left and right hand sides. #2 has the brush edges that exceed the rectangle that represents the path outline, and then #3 is just sitting there waiting for me to modify it.

Currently it's the same as #2. All right, so let's take these guys and turn them into art brushes. And you do that by bringing up the Brushes panel, and then if you're working along with me, go ahead and select that top wiggly path, and drag it and drop it into the Brushes panel. Notice that I have a little plus sign next my cursor. If I want to create a new brush, I just go ahead and drop it into place and release the mouse button. However, if you want to replace an existing brush--I just want you to see this is possible-- you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. And notice now you see a heavy outline around the existing chalk round.

However, I don't really see any purpose in replacing one brush with another. We might as well keep all of our brushes intact. So I'm going to release the Alt or Option key and just go ahead and drop that path outline into the Brushes panel. Illustrator next asks what kind of brush you want to create. It can be a Scatter Brush, an Art Brush, or a Pattern Brush. The reason Calligraphic and Bristle Brush are dimmed is because both of those styles rely entirely on numerical parameters. They have nothing to do with existing path outlines. So go ahead and select Art Brush and click OK and you'll be met by this gigantic dialog box, most of which you can safely ignore.

One of the options you can't ignore is Name. So I'll go ahead and paste in a name, which is Chalk alt #1. You can go ahead and modify the Width value and even change it to a percentage of its current size. However, you are not really going to know if that's what you want to do until you apply the brush to a path outline. So, not really the kind of thing you do in advance. You can go ahead and set the Brush so it Scales Proportionally, but that's not going to work in our case. You also have this interesting option here, which is the Stretch Between Guides. So you have to set up guidelines, presumably vertical guidelines in our case, inside of your document window. And then any portion of the art brush between those guidelines will scale, anything outside the guidelines will not scale.

However, of course that would require guides and I don't have any. So I'm just going to stick with the default setting, Stretch to Fit Stroke Length. Notice then you've got these Direction options. Nine times out of ten you're going to want the default setting, once again, which is Stroke From Left to Right, and that way you stroke the art brush from left to right along the direction of the path outline. You can set it to something else, such as Perpendicular if you want, but probably you don't. So I'll go ahead and switch it back to Left to Right. You have also got the Options to flip the brush along the path--that would be Left to Right in our case--or across the path, which would be vertical in the case of this preview anyway. But again, that's a decision you're going to make on-the-fly.

And then finally, Overlap is now set to this default setting where Illustrator goes ahead and adjusts the art brush at any corner points to fill in gaps. And that's a great default setting; it's highly unlikely in fact that you're ever going to want to change that. The one thing you're going to want to change, besides the name of the brush, is the method. So assuming that you're starting with a black art brush or black path, as I am, and you want to be able to colorize it by assigning a color to the stroke, then you want to change the method from None to Tints.

It's that simple, and that's all there is to it. Then click OK in order to create that brush. And now let's do the same thing with brush #2 here. I'll go ahead and marquee these two paths this time, both the wiggly path and the invisible rectangle behind it, and I'll drag and drop the paths into the Brushes panel, select Art Brush, click OK. Go ahead and paste in the name, Chalk alt #2, and I'll change the method to Tint, and then I'll click OK in order to create that brush. And you can see they appear at the bottom of the list of our brushes, although you can drag them and drop them to different locations if you like.

All right, now to assign these brushes to the text, I'll go ahead and hide the Brushes panel, then I'll press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch to the Preview mode. Turn off the Chalk alts layer, turn on the base layer. You are going to probably be too close to your letters there. So I'll go ahead and zoom out a little bit, so we can take in the end of the word BRUSH. And then I'll click on it's baseline to select the letters. I'll switch over to the Appearance panel, and I'll click on that final green stroke, Chalk-Round. And then I'll click on the tiny brush preview and I'll scroll down the list until I find the new brushes that I just created, including Chalk alt #1.

Now this is the one that's cut off at the ends. And notice as soon as I select it, I end up with a much more uniform stroke around the letters, even though it does have some wiggle of course associated with it. But notice these cuts at these various locations right there at the tip of the S, and there's another one right there at the tip of the serif of the H. What that is, is the point at which the path begins and ends. So all character outlines are closed paths, but Illustrator always sees paths, whether closed or open, as having beginnings and endings. It's just with the closed path, it's a single anchor point.

And it happens to be located right there on the S and right there on the H. You could convert the text outlines and then change the point at which the letters begin and end, but it's going to happen somewhere. So anyway, the moral of the story is having those ends cut off does not service well. Now you may figure the solution would be to click on word Stroke up here for example, and then assign a Cap; but while you can't go ahead and assign a Cap to a art brush stroke, is it doesn't do anything. And same for the corner settings as well, by the way. So instead, what we're going to do is switch to a different brush.

I'll go ahead and click on that tiny little brush preview and I'll switch to Chalk alt #2, the one that has the ends that exceed beyond that invisible rectangle that represents the path outline. And as I was saying, everything gets exaggerated when you're stretching one of these art brushes along a path outline or a character outline in our case, and sure enough we get quite a bit of exaggeration right there. Those are those edges being stretched over here at the corner of the H and this tip of the S as well.

Now it's kind of a cool effect, but it doesn't happen to be the effect that I want where this text is concerned. So I'm going to need to split the difference, and I'll show you what that looks like in the very next movie.

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